Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham continues to stay in the public limelight.
Last week, the man who completed three terms as prime minister in this country, produced a statement regarding the economic state of affairs in Grand Bahama. He gave advice to the present chief executive of the nation, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.
In that statement, apart from suggestions to Dr. Minnis and the government not to purchase the Grand Lucayan Hotel properties, but to seek to buy the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), Ingraham touched on the role his government played in assisting in the economic growth of Grand Bahama.
Subsequently, a Freeport News Editorial pointed out that no significant attempt was made to purchase the Grand Bahama Port Authority, when Ingraham was in charge of the country.
On Sunday, Ingraham responded to the editorial.
“I read your editorial in Thursday’s edition of The Freeport News and noted your suggestion that during none of my three non-consecutive terms in office did any of my administrations seek to purchase the Grand Bahama Port Authority or put in place new leadership. I thought a little memory refresher might assist,” said Ingraham.
He went on to list a number of claims regarding the Ingraham administrations and Grand Bahama. Ingraham took credit for bringing Hutchison Whampoa into the mainstream of Grand Bahama’s economy.
“Significantly, we facilitated Hutchison-Whampoa’s entry into the Freeport economy in 1995, not only as developers of the Container Transshipment Port, but as 50 percent owners with the St. George and Hayward families in the Grand Bahama Harbour Company, the Grand Bahama Development Company and the Grand Bahama Airport Company.
“Over the first two of my administrations (1992-2002) Freeport experienced greater economic expansion than it had seen in a generation. That economic expansion resulted in Freeport’s unemployment rate to drop below 7 percent The developments in Freeport also included the introduction of a world class energy company into Freeport’s electricity company (with a requirement that opportunity be made available for Bahamian ownership of Freeport’s electricity company), the development of the Grand Bahama Container Transshipment Port, the Grand Bahama Shipyard, the Bradford Marine Mega Yacht Repair Facility, the redevelopment of the International Airport, the beginning of the pelican Bay Marina Village, the redevelopment of the Princess Hotel, he expansion of oil transshipment and storage, the entry of new and additional pharmaceutical companies, the entry of new manufacturing companies including Polymers International, and the expansion of upscale residential developments among other developments,” said Ingraham.
In the letter, Ingraham also reiterated his position that it is best for Grand Bahama, that the GBPA be sold.
“I continue to believe the Port Authority needs new leadership. It needs new ownership and Freeport needs new and additional investment,” concluded Ingraham.
(See letter in its entirety on the Opinion letters section of this website)